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Posts tagged "Racism"

Why I Invited Daryl Davis to Speak in DC

Why I Invited Daryl Davis to Speak in DC

There’s a scene about fifteen minutes into Accidental Courtesy, the 2016 documentary about musician Daryl Davis, that so blew my hair back that I immediately looked up his contact info for the purposes of begging him to join us at our upcoming event in Washington, DC.

The scene begins with a clip from Geraldo Rivera’s old daytime talk show, Geraldo, where the titular host is interviewing various families involved in Neo-Nazism and the Ku Klux Klan, the focus being on those who are “too young to hate”. Daryl is also on the show that day, presumably as a resident expert, albeit…

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Another Week Ends (in Charlottesville)

Another Week Ends (in Charlottesville)

I’ll be honest with you. It would’ve been nice to return from sabbatical some other week.

As you might imagine, a front row seat gives the viewer a different perspective. But you’d think it would loosen the tongue, not tie it up. Why haven’t I been able to write about what took place here last weekend?

Well, for starters, I am (we are) still very much dealing with the local fallout. I’m referring to the incredibly kind teaching aide at my son’s elementary school who was jumped and beaten because of his skin color, and wondering if he’s going to be able…

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"Say Yes" - Tobias Wolff's Parable of Faith

“Say Yes” – Tobias Wolff’s Parable of Faith

In Tobias Wolff’s 1985 short story, “Say Yes,” a husband and wife are washing and drying the dishes. He is clearly proud of himself for what a considerate husband he is to help with household chores. But whatever goodwill he has earned evaporates when, in casual conversation, he expresses his opposition to interracial marriage. When she challenges his regressive views, he immediately declaims on his long and positive association with blacks. When she presses him for reasons, he claims that “a person from their culture and a person from our culture could never really know each other.” She responds:…

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Another Week Ends: John Henryism, Fargo, ISIS, The Modern Mind, and Halo Losers

Another Week Ends: John Henryism, Fargo, ISIS, The Modern Mind, and Halo Losers

1) A trio of articles surfaced recently about the psychological relationships between work ethic and mental health. It appears that anxiety is on the rise, especially for achievers. The first one of note, from The Atlantic, introduces the phenomenon of “John Henryism,” claiming that there is a paradoxical health risk to those who happen to work really hard to find success. A study was done with a group of underprivileged kids from low-income neighborhoods, who exhibited strong academic performance and self-control. While this self-control and determination led them to more opportunities beyond their circumstances, their health suffered because of it.

They…

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New Music: Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly

New Music: Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly

Inside the liner notes of Kendrick Lamar’s new album, To Pimp A Butterfly, is a picture of Lamar (shown above) sitting in a room with assorted dollar bills scattered around him on the floor.  Pictures like this are a common and maybe tired rap trope, typically appearing in magazine spreads and liner notes, rife with allegories of success and the spoils of excess that come with it.  Lamar’s picture strikes a different chord though.  He sits solitary on a crate in sweatpants with untied Reebok sneakers and a bottle of liquor in one hand, his tranquil eyes looking right at…

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Reflections on a Notched Gun from Selma

Reflections on a Notched Gun from Selma

Over the summer, my father gave me an old, Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 revolver. His father, who received it as a gift from his best friend, gave it to him. Family lore has it that my grandfather’s friend took it from someone else in an apparent altercation. What makes this interesting is the revolver itself and the historical context in which it existed. On the wooden handle, there are five notches… four parallel notches with a fifth crossing them out. Now, that could mean anything… squirrels, rats… but the heyday of this revolver came in the mid-20th Century…

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Another Week Ends: Millennial Churchmice, Papal Forgetfulness, Meaningful Happiness, Postpartem Mirrors, Teaser Culture, Michael Vick, Anthony Weiner, and TV on the Radio

Another Week Ends: Millennial Churchmice, Papal Forgetfulness, Meaningful Happiness, Postpartem Mirrors, Teaser Culture, Michael Vick, Anthony Weiner, and TV on the Radio

1. The question of why millennials are leaving the church came back into public view this week via an opinion piece by Rachel Held Evans on CNN, the key line being, “What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.” Accessibility and format are not really the issue in other words; if anything, church-as-performance appears to be symptomatic of an insecurity in modern believers that has alienated as many as it has attracted. Evans believes the real problem is the What, not the How. Fair enough–the substance of much of what…

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Paula Deen Gets Her Just Des(s)erts

Paula Deen Gets Her Just Des(s)erts

Unfortunately, Paula Deen did not stop at fried okra and sweet potato pie in her glorification of the Old South, but distastefully resurrected a vision of antiquated race roles in a few comments that have recently been revealed to the harsh light of public judgment. While her expulsion from Food Network and the collapse of her career may come as good news to many and bad news for nation-wide butter sales, there are many conflicting ideas about the appropriate reactions and consequences. Joshua David Stein’s recent article in The New York Observer, which we covered in the latest weekender, says…

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Another Week Ends: Prosperity Mortgages, Megan Fox, South Africa, Nietzsche, Community, Wii Pray, Dylan

Another Week Ends: Prosperity Mortgages, Megan Fox, South Africa, Nietzsche, Community, Wii Pray, Dylan

1. Not to beat a dead horse, but Hanna Rosin (she of Ehrenreich book review/God’s Harvard fame) wrote a lengthy cover story about the prosperity gospel for The Atlantic this past month entitled “Did Christianity Cause The Market To Crash?”. She reports that “the growth of the prosperity gospel tracks fairly closely to the pattern of foreclosure hot spots”, even detailing the efforts of certain loan officers to reach out to prosperity pastors. Her criticisms may not exactly be breaking news, and thankfully it’s not all one-note – there are some touching examples of hope offered to the hopeless –…

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Chris Rock on Obama, Racism, Anthropology

Chris Rock on Obama, Racism, Anthropology

A couple relevant thoughts from a recent interview with CNN.com:

CNN: What are you hoping Barack Obama does for this country? What do you think is his most important task?

Rock: You know, if you’re the president you only have two jobs: peace and money. That’s it. I mean, it’s like, what did Clinton do? We were at peace and we had a budget surplus. That’s it. That’s the gig. The closer you get us to those two goals, you know, that’s pretty much the gig. Is that too much to ask for?

CNN: At…

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